NFL Week 1 Bold Predictions
Believe it or not, football is back. After a wild off-season and no pre-season games, we are jumping right into week 1. Week 1 never disappoints, and always gives us early headlines about the upcoming season. Expect some crazy upsets and some young players to make a name for themselves. Week 1 always gives us a relative idea of who is going to be an immediate contender. For example, let's go back a year from this time, when Lamar Jackson's Ravens dropped 59 points in their season debut and Jackson ultimately won the league MVP award. Which team or player will breakout in 2020? We could find out Sunday. Now, here are some bold predictions on how this Sunday will shape up.
Cam Newton Proves Himself as a Perfect Fit in New England's Offense
After 20 seasons of Tom Brady under center in Foxboro, the Patriots have finally turned the page. Brady hands the keys to another former MVP, in Cam Newton. The two quarterbacks share little to no similarities. Which is why many are questioning how Newton will fit in this offense. Newton has already adopted "The Patriot Way" into his demeanor, and has been fairly silent this off-season. However, the one thing Cam has said this summer is, "this is a match made in heaven." Pairing a former MVP with a 6 time Super Bowl winning head coach seems to have great potential to be exactly that. Newton, the former #1 overall pick, started only two games last season in Carolina, due to a Lisfranc fracture in his foot. Newton is out to prove that he still has quality football left in him, and he will get a great opportunity to do just that on Sunday, when the Miami Dolphins come to town.
Cam Newton's ability in the run game should help the New England offense become more dynamic and versatile. The Patriots have been trying to adjust their offensive scheme long before they signed Newton. By drafting a tight end and an H-back in this years draft, it is evident they are transitioning to a power run/play-action pass offense. A mobile quarterback running an offense like this can be very effective, as we saw in Baltimore last year. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels now has an opportunity to get even more creative with Cam Newton in the picture. The NFL's all-time leader in rushing TD's from the quarterback position is in the hands of a mastermind coaching staff, and it will be interesting to watch the many ways they use him this season.
This Sunday, Newton will get his first chance to show the league what he and the Patriots are made of. Expect New England to roll against Miami, and Newton to post least three touchdowns. The Patriots are not going anywhere as long as Newton can stay healthy behind center. Adding Newton to this team may not make them an immediate AFC title contender, but we do know it adds another level to their offense that Jarrett Stidham simply was not going to provide. The Patriots start out the season 1-0, behind a 300 total yard performance from their new quarterback.
Marquise Brown Has Career Day
The 23 year old speedster out of Oklahoma University had a very solid rookie season to open his career in Baltimore, despite an injury causing him to miss several games. Brown was a big part of one of the best offenses in football and posted seven touchdowns in less than a full seasons work. Averaging 12.7 yards per reception, Brown has solidified himself as a down field threat. Of the 50 wide receivers who saw at least 15 deep targets in 2019, Marquise Brown had the sixth highest separation rate. Expect Brown to step up this season as the Ravens primary option in the passing attack. With reports of Lamar Jackson having spent most of his off-season working on his deep ball accuracy, it is without question that Brown would be the beneficiary of improved play from the quarterback.
On Sunday, the Ravens play host to their division foe, the Cleveland Browns. Despite how you think the game itself will play out, you can not deny that Cleveland's secondary has some glaring issues. The secondary in Cleveland has an endless list of injuries. Let's start with their second round pick in this years draft, Grant Delpit, who was supposed to come in and provide instant help at the safety position. Delpit ruptured his achilles last week, and is expected to miss the 2020 season. From here it only gets worse. Both Greedy Williams and Kevin Johnson are ruled out for Sunday's matchup. Williams and Johnson were both projected starting corners for the Browns. While dealing with all of this, Browns cornerback MJ Stewart is also nursing a hamstring injury that could keep him sidelined on Sunday. This leaves an already mediocre defense scrambling for help before the season begins. The Browns are essentially now left with Denzel Ward and Terrance Mitchell to try and defend the many weapons Baltimore possesses on the outside. It will be an unbelievable task to try and stop Marquise Brown and this Ravens offense with very little experience in the secondary.
Marquise Brown is poised for a breakout game on Sunday. He only broke the 100 yard mark one time last season. Expect Brown to break 100 yards with ease and post a touchdown in week 1 of the 2020 season. Brown is a must start in any fantasy league this week, and also holds great value as a daily fantasy play.
Cowboys Flourish in McCarthy's Debut
Mike McCarthy will debut as the Cowboy's first new coach in over a decade on Sunday Night. The former Super Bowl winning head coach takes over a very talented roster, that only has one playoff victory in the past five years to show for it. In a primetime matchup, the Cowboys will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in the brand new SoFi Stadium. Both of these teams are trying to bounce back from disappointing 2019 seasons.
The Dallas Cowboys should be the clear favorite in this game. Without even mentioning that the Rams are 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 games as home underdogs, the Cowboys are simply the more complete team. Los Angeles will spend the first few weeks of this season trying to find an identity on offense after an off-season of change. Jared Goff struggled to find a groove last season, and I just have a hard time believing he is going to come out on Sunday night and return to the player that he was when he led the Rams to Super Bowl 53. Dak Prescott has found himself in the Dallas offense under Kellen Moore, and that showed last season, as Dallas was top 3 in scoring offense.
Expect Dallas to come out of the gates strong on Sunday night and take an early lead. Involving Ezekiel Elliott in the game plan, to slow the pace and control time of possession. Goff and company will struggle to move the ball and will be playing from behind. Final score, Dallas 27, Los Angeles 17.